I got an Idea from a girl in my ward to do a photo journal and take a picture every day for a year. Last night we had ice cream pops for family night and I decided to get a happy picture of the kids devouring their treats for my project. Of course the happy picture idea was botched when they started a little tiff with each other and I just decided oh well, this little baby is going in the book of remembrance!
Monday, January 30, 2012
I have decided since motherhood is both incredibly important and incredibly chaotic there must be Guardian Angels (specifically assigned to moms) who provide tender mercies so we all make it through in one piece.
A couple of days before Thanksgiving the kids and I drove up to Salt Lake to pick up my sister in law, Marianne, and her two children from the airport. We made the 45 minute drive from Provo with out any problems and I was pleased with myself that we weren't late and even had several minutes to spare before picking them up on the curb outside the airport. Marianne had an appointment right after the flight, so the plan was to drop her off and head over to Mc Donald's so our kids could eat and play at the indoor play ground while we waited for Marianne's appointment to finish. Everything was going according to plan until while en route to Mickey D's there were suddenly huge puffs of steam or smoke (I wasn't sure) seeping out the hood of my car from the engine. Other cars started honking and pointing at my engine and I quickly made the decision to pull into a University of Utah student housing complex so I could assess what was going on with my van. I lifted my baby and car seat out of the van and had the other four children get out and wait on the nearby grass so I could make sure my engine wasn't on fire. Luckily, it was steam and after lifting the hood I could see that there was a huge crack in my radiator. I called the road side assistance through our insurance and was told the unfortunate news that it would take at least two hours for our van to be towed. I hung up the phone frustrated and realized that I had received a text from my sister in law letting me know that she was all finished and we could come pick her up. I decided to call my husband at school to let him know of my sudden misfortune but there wasn't a whole lot he could do since our only other mode of transportation is a bright yellow motor scooter, perfect for commuting to and from campus. He offered some helpless condolences and I told him not to worry that I would somehow figure it out.
At that moment, a young man walked up to my window and asked if could help in anyway. I explained to him that there was a crack in the radiator and I was waiting for a tow truck. I also let him know that my sister- in -law needed to be picked up hoping this kind looking young man would be willing to go get her. He told me he wished that he could help but his wife had their only car and wouldn't be home for several hours. Sensing that there was nothing he could do, I thanked him politely for wanting to help but I reassured him that a tow truck would be coming soon and I would get a rental vehicle and we would be just fine. The young man left reluctantly and as I turned to check on the kids in the back seats, I suddenly started questioning if we really would be fine. Kids were fidgety and irritable and there were frequent shouts of, "I'm STARVING!" or "HE IS HITTING ME!" and " when are we gonna GET OUT OF HERE!" I knew we weren't going to last much longer with out food for the kids but before I could come up with a game plan to feed them, I became fixated on my next disaster as my four month old decided to have an explosion in her diaper and sticky yellow baby poop was slowly making it's way up her back. The next thing I am going to say probably isn't a big shocker: I had no diaper. In my hurry to get out of the door to make it to the airport in time, I didn't check to make sure my diaper bag was stocked and there wasn't a diaper (or wipes) anywhere to be found. I think I might have had a serious moment of self pity if it wasn't for the angels who were making their way toward my van. Sarah and Jake, a seriously adorable young couple approached my car window and said they had heard from the young man who had come earlier that we were having some trouble. They had come to offer their services and told me to put them to work. In a matter of minutes they had everything figured out. They brought a box FULL of snacks for the kids, they didn't have children but were able to borrow a diaper AND wipes from a neighbor and they even offered to pick up Marianne from her appointment. When Marianne made it back to us, she and I had to laugh at the ridiculousness of our plight and we were both so relived when this young couple offered to let us go up to their apartment so we could warm up and the kids could get something to eat for dinner.
It kind of makes my cry to think of everything they did next. I had the busy tasks of getting a rental car in order and working with the tow company to get the van towed to a local mechanic shop and Sarah and Jake just simply got to work. They put on a spread for our kids. They made any kids favorite; breakfast for dinner complete with scrambled eggs, toast, yogurt and cereal. Jake offered to take the kids to the park while I met the tower guy at my van and after getting car seats and luggage out of our van so it could be towed, I walked into the apartment to find Sarah rocking my tired baby to sleep. I told them if they could do one last favor and drive me to the rental company we would finally be out of their hair. Sarah willingly offered to drive me, so she and I loaded up my baby in her car and she took me to Budget so I could get a working van.
Sarah and I talked easily. She told me how she was a teacher and Jake was going to school. I told her how we lived in Provo while my husband was attending grad school and my life was full and a little crazy now that I had three kids. As we walked up the steps to her apartment to load everyone up in the new rental a wave of gratitude and emotion took over me and I finally let a few tears fall for the first time that day. I sincerely thanked my new friend and told her with out a doubt that, "God takes care of mothers!" She hugged me and told me how wonderful that is to hear because she and Jake were expecting their first baby in the spring.
A few weeks ago I dropped off a baby gift to Sarah and Jake as a way of thanking them for all they did and to celebrate their approaching parenthood. As I watched Sarah, her beautiful face alive with a motherly glow, I thought about all of the excitement hopes and fears I shared with my first baby. I didn't know what sort of adventures I would be embarking on but I knew I was becoming something I was destined to be: A mother. I know that there are experiences in my future as a mother that will be far more serious than a broken down mini van and tired kids, but it just taught me that no matter what there is a loving Father in Heaven who has a special place in his heart for mothers. I feel it so much when I pray about my babies, even as I worry and ache about providing all that I can for them I know that I am not alone. There are tender mercies set aside for us moms and that fact alone allows me to roll up my sleeves and fearlessly take on the greatest job in the world.